New Delhi: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) may soon be able to contribute to the government’s flagship programmes such as Namami Gange and Swachh Bharat, an official said. The plan will help Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government reach out to overseas Indians, and help finance these initiatives.

“Its been a long-standing desire of Indians living abroad to contribute to the development of the country. During various interactions with the Prime Minister, they often raised this topic. The government is now working on a plan to allow it," said Vijay Chauthaiwale, in-charge of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) foreign affairs cell and the Overseas Friends of BJP.

In his interactions, Modi has often said that NRIs should contribute for the development of the country. The initiative started during Modi’s recent visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where people expressed their desire to contribute for these two initiatives.

“If a person contributes money for building toilets in his village, the government will provide a completion certificate to the person who contributed the money for the toilet. It is being done to ensure that people who contribute know that the money has been used for the same purpose. It will also make the process transparent and there will be no corruption," Chauthaiwale added.

The BJP leader also said that the party had raised the issue of contribution for flagship programmes at 40 different forums of the Overseas Friends of BJP and it was well accepted by Indians living abroad.

Political analysts feel it is not that the government lacks funds for the flagship programmes, but it is an attempt to reach out to the NRI community. “This is an old style of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (BJP’s ideological parent) of gaining popularity through public participation. It not only makes these flagship schemes popular but also the government and the Prime Minister," said Jai Mrug, Mumbai-based political analyst.

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